Christian Heyl


Family Links

1. Esther Alspach

Christian Heyl 1 2 3

  • Born: 2 Apr 1788, Zeitlofs, , BY, DEU 1 2 3
  • Marriage (1): Esther Alspach
  • Died: 2 Dec 1877, Columbus, Franklin, OH at age 89 1
  • Buried: Columbus: Green Lawn Cemetery, Franklin, OH 1

   FamilySearch ID: KCFB-Q5M.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Evidence: Johann Christian Heyl Historic Marker #63-25, Columbus, Franklin, OH. Historic sign on the corner of High & Rich streets in Columbus, OH reads:

Johann Christian Heyl (1788-1877), the first German and first Lutheran to settle in Columbus, was one of the original 15 settlers of the city. A baker by trade, Heyl came to bake for the soldiers quartered in Franklinton during the War of 1812. He founded the city's first Lutheran Church and helped financially underwrite the German Theological Seminary, which later became Capital University. An early civic leader, Heyl served on City Council for 14 years, was County Treasurer for 8 years, an associate judge in the Court of Common Pleas for 14 years, was appointed to the first public school board, and was the first Chief of the Fire Department. His Sunbury Road home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. (continued on other side)

Side B :
Johann Christian Heyl operated a hostelry at Rich and High streets for 28 years in the early 1800s, first known as the Swan and later as Franklin House. Due to its close proximity to the Statehouse and location just north of the entrance to the National Road on High Street, it was a popular stop for members of the General Assembly and center of many civic events. One such notable event was the Great Squirrel Hunt. Heyl organized the hunt at a time when squirrels were overrunning Columbus and farmers' crops were threatened. On Saturday, August 31, 1822, at two in the afternoon, hunters gathered at Franklin House and within hours collected 19,600 scalps.

2. He has conflicting birth information of 2 Apr 1788 and Zeidlops, , , DEU. 2 His birthplace is spelled as Zeidlops in his biography in the History of Franklin County, but the only village with similar spelling we can find is Zeitlofs, which is probably correct.

3. He immigrated on 9 Apr 1800 to Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. 2

4. Census in 1870 in Columbus, Franklin, OH. 3 Charles Heyl, 48, was living with wife Eliza, 44; Eliza, 23; Anna, 18; Levenia, 13; Eliza, 10; Charles, 8; Margaret, 5; Samuel A., 2. Also in the home is Charles' father Christian, 82; and Elizabeth Pilgrim, 63. Everyone is born in Ohio, except the mother Eliza in Pennsylvania, and Christina in a German village spelled on the census list, but in handwriting we cannot make out.

5. Book: History of Franklin and Pickaway Counties, 1880. 2
Christian Heyl, whose name, for more than sixty years, has been familiar as a household word to the people of Columbus, was born in Zeidlops, a small principality of Germany, in the year 1788. When he was about twelve years old, his father, influenced largely by the disturbed political condition of the country, joined a company, consisting of about ninety persons, to seek a home in the new world. After many vexatious delays, and a tedious voyage, lasting thirty-four weeks [days?], they landed at Baltimore, April 9, 1800.

Young Heyl remained here some seven years, at first following the occupation of painting, and afterwards apprenticed to learn the baker's trade. This occupation he followed for several years. His parents, with one son and daughter, and perhaps more, moved to Lancaster in 1806, settling on a small farm in the midst of the forest, near that place, and the next year Christian joined them, remaining with them and assisting the clearing up of the farm, till 1811, when all moved to town, and Christian entered again upon the business of baking. He has left, in manuscript, a very interesting account of their mode of life in their log cabin in the wilderness, which we would gladly insert, but want of space forbids.

In 1813 he established himself as a baker in a small cabin at Columbus, with his sister as housekeeper. The first year they had to go to Franklinton for all their supplies, but in 1814 the first store was opened in Columbus. This was during the war, and discharged soldiers, sick and destitute, were almost constantly passing through the place. All those who came to his door were fed and liberally cared for, and on one occasion, he actually took his coat from his own back and placed it upon that of a soldier who was without one, sick and suffering from cold.

In 1814 he married, bringing his wife to the cabin, which he continued to occupy as a bakery for another year or two, when he purchased a lot on High street, and built upon it what was then, and is yet, called the Franklin house--one of the few old landmarks left standing. In this they lived twenty years, carrying on the hotel business, and accumulating a handsome property. They then exchanged the hotel for a farm.

They had six sons, one of whom died in infancy. The survivors (all living) are: Lewis, John, William, George, and Charles--all of whom are educated men. Lewis established, some years ago, the Esther institute, a female seminary, located on Broad street, and named in honor of his wife, who wa one of its principal teachers during its entire existence--which, however, was not more than five or six years. It wa very prosperous for three or four years, after which, in consequence of the establishment of the high school, the patronage fell off, and it had to be given up. The find building has been sold, and is now used for a boarding establishment, called the Irving house. Lewis and John reside in Philadelphia, and have some office under the general government. William and Charles live in Columbus, the former a lawyer by profession, and George lives in Canton.

Christian Heyl enjoyed, in the highest degree, the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens in Columbus, and was appointed by them to many places of trust. He died in December, 1878, aged ninety years lacking four months, his wife having preceded him by eleven years.

6. Book: Centennial History Of Columbus And Franklin County, Ohio, 1909. 4
Organized 1821
Among the earliest pioneer settlers in Columbus and Franklin county were the Heyls, consisting of Lorentz Heyl, his wife, their two sons, Christian and Conrad; Mrs. Regina Pilgrim, a widowed daughter, and her family, and a grandson. They arrived in a single party in 1813. The name is interwoven with the future history of Columbus. Being German Lutherans and devout believers in the faith, they missed their hitherto regular church services. The German Lutherans in the township, too, felt lonely without a temporal fold and shepherd, and so they all united and set about the work of procuring the shepherd and the upbuilding of the sheepfold. In the year 1818 a meeting, headed by a missionary, Rev. Michael J. Steck, was held at the Franklin Tavern on High street, of which Christian Heyl, subsequently a leading citizen, was the proprietor, and set about the organization of the church. In 1819 this primitive flock was taken in charge by Rev. Charles Henkel, who had come into the Ohio wilderness to do the Father's work. The hitherto shepherdless sheep were called to meet this time at the residence of the other brother, Conrad Heyl, at the corner of Rich and Front streets. Here the church was fully and befittingly organized. Among those present at this assemblage were Gottlieb Lichtenecker, William Altman, John Athan Knieriemer, Henry and Philip Borman, Simon Stahl, John and Peter Putnam and Rudolph Loeliger, and their respective families, resident of the town, and the following from the townships of Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson and Miffln : John, George and David Ridenour, Michael Meuschwender, Jesse Baughman, John Saul, Father Heltzel and his sons, Jacob, Nicholas and Philip, and Frederick Stambaugh. Several of these were accompanied by their families. Many came long distances to attend this and other meetings, some on foot, some on horseback or in primitive vehicles and sleds along the forest paths and roads centering in the town. A lot was purchased in 1820 at the corner of Third and the alley north between Rich and Town, for two hundred dollars. On this a church building was erected and occupied in 1821-22. At first the services were in German. For the benefit of the English-speaking members they were given in German at one service and in English at the next. In 1831 Rev. W. Schmidt became pastor. At Canton, Ohio, he had projected a theological seminary, and this, with his consent, was removed by the Ohio synod to Columbus, where it still flourishes as the Capital University, which annually graduates young men into the clergy and is thus united by a strong bond with the church at the capital, as well as with the pastorates of the graduates by sympathetic and fraternal chords.

Christian married Esther Alspach. (Esther Alspach was born on 3 May 1792 in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill, PA and died on 2 May 1867 in , Fairfield, OH.)


1 ,

2 (Williams Bros. publishers, 1880.), Page 583.

3 , Ohio, Franklin County, Columbus Ward 5, Roll: M593_1201; Page: 226.

4 Taylor, William Alexander, Centennial History of Columbus And Franklin County, Ohio (1909. Chicago-Columbus: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.), Page 188.

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This website was created 28 Nov 2023 with Legacy 9.0, a division of; content copyrighted and maintained by